What does “Look for Joy in the Small Things” Mean?

For the longest time, this statement seemed like a useless tactic. Look for joy in the small things. So you’re telling me to ignore the very issue that is creating a whole shift in perspective around me? Nothing is normal around me, and you expect me to just, look at the flower and think, yeah, because that pretty flower exists, I am probably gonna be okay.

It just seemed pointless to me. I felt like, people who say this, must have not had it really badly if they can just say, look for joy in the small things. But that, in fact, is not the case.

What does it mean to “Look for Joy in the Small Things”?

It means that we need to understand that life has its seasons. When you have storms, you are going to have struggles, and they will come and go, but they will come and go on their own time, not yours.

You will be in the midst of that storm and you will feel that storm.

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Now, I don’t want to say all this to make you lose all hope entirely. I say it to validate what you are going through. It is not easy. If it is not easy to you, it is not easy. That is all that matters. So don’t entirely dismiss that. Don’t dismiss it, don’t compare it, don’t undermine it. It is what it is, and it is what you are experiencing.

It is difficult. Nothing that is new will be easy the first time. Especially when you have to do it alone.

When you ride a bike for the first time, you wont be a speedster. When you draw your first picture, you wont be Picasso, when you play your first instrument, you wont be Mozart at it.

When you deal with a negative experience for the first time, you won’t know the best way to react and deal with it. So it is okay that you are not okay, even if it may seem easy to someone else. This is your moment to figure it out and go through the initial hard moments.

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So first, be forgiving on yourself. It isn’t easy and it won’t be easy for a while to deal with these emotionally draining situations.

Second, don’t think about the big picture. Don’t think about how to solve the overall problem. This may cause anxiety over the long run of what may happen in the future. Stop it. Don’t think about that. Just think about the next best choice you can make for now. The next best choice, the next right step you can think of in your current state.

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Third, this will be a trudging time for you. It may be hard to keep your head up. The end of the tunnel may feel too far. But just find joy in the small things. A laugh with your friends, a beautiful flower that you have never seen before, your dog curling up next to you on a quiet Sunday morning, support of people you love, or maybe a hobby that gives you joy. It can be any of these. But taking time to appreciate the small things that make you happy is like a little less weight on your shoulders.

And I want to make this very clear. I am in no way saying that you need to be grateful for the little things, or you need to be more positive, or you are missing out whats good around you because your so focused on your problems. That would be toxic positivity. Just trying to control your behavior rather than actually getting at the root of the problem and fixing it from the ground up.

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You are allowed to feel sad in the situations you feel sad in. You are allowed to feel like you are struggling, and you are allowed to validate your struggle. But when it gets too heavy, remembering the joy in small things helps you make it to the end of that tunnel. These small “pick me ups” are exactly that. They are ways to pick you back up and give you some small strength to keep going for an unknown amount of time.

Because remember, it is a season. Time will keep going with or without you. People around you will talk with or without you. Life will be unpredictable with or without you. But you can take it step by step, and just like long winding stairs, or a long race, the end of it has to come one way or another, and the season will pass. Your job is to keep those legs moving and do what it takes to keep walking.

You got this.

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Growth isn’t aesthetic

I have always been told to do my best, be my best, and when you hear everyone’s growth stories, you see people rise out of the ashes to become some beautiful strong swan from the trenches of darkness.

That’s what it looks like.

But you miss all of the in between stuff. All the behind the scene stuff.

I have grown so much and I have had so many people change their minds about me and admire the growth that I pushed myself through in such a short period of time.

To them, it seems inspiring,

To me, it was a dark dark constant messy loud battle that I sometimes concede to, but end up getting back up and trying again.

I’m fighting thoughts in my mind, I’m talking to myself the whole time. You learn to recognize all your failures, insecurities, and weaknesses. Usually people can see them more than you can. And you face each one of them head on.

And you fail. You will. Don’t ask me how I know. You just will. And you will again. But you get back up, screaming in your own head louder to drown out your thoughts.

You keep going even though you don’t believe the change in decision is actually going to do anything.

You keep going and keep making the decision to take every next step no matter how much you think it wouldn’t work. No matter what anyone says about you. Because people don’t understand the steps your taking.

Because people only think life is one step. Before and after. So they don’t see the turmoil that you go through to get to point A to point B.

So they will see it. They will see you make decisions, and make conclusions, and change your mind, and make new conclusions and new hypothesis about life, until you see yourself as the person you always imagined yourself to be.

And even when you get there. Your still gonna fight battles. It’ll look strong to other people because they aren’t doing the work. They aren’t the one making the hard decisions to stand up again.

The strength is to keep going even though your mind feels like it’s hopeless.

When you reach the beautiful point you have always wanted to be. That strong person, it doesn’t mean you are never afraid anymore. Yeah, you may be able to endure a lot. But you are still fighting a difficult fight. Your just able to last through the turmoil and the storm and make it out the other side when it finally passes. It doesn’t mean the storm is any less strong.

Just know, being a beautiful strong person in the end can be great, but not always a free easy feeling you thought it was going to be. Expect that you will always have to get back up again, and last through the end. It’s being able to emotionally self regulate. It is to find hope even though it feels there is none. It’s to recognize that life is just a series of stories. That’s what makes you strong.

See yourself through. Just last through this story. Until you get to see and experience the next one. You don’t have to like this story, but you can use it to define who you really are in times of trouble.

It’s not easy for anyone. No matter how it looks.

How We Should Perceive Our Negative Emotions

Listen, everyone goes through something. I rarely meet anyone that has lived a happy life their entire life. We all experience emotions and it effects our life in so many ways.

That being said, usually when you experience some kind of situation that makes you sad, angry, depression, irritated, or anything we tend to make a definitive statement and already create a reality out of it.

From just the feeling we get.

We literally, create a new reality of what we think is actually happening, based on a emotional reaction.

Now I am not saying emotions are bad and should be avoided. In fact, embracing, feeling, and loving my emotions (especially crying) has honestly made me the most emotionally strongest I have ever been.

I have been told that I am too sensitive and too emotional my entire life, and I have tried to suppress all of my emotions, which made me even more unstable.

The moment I have embraced my emotions, is the moment that I had become stronger. The moment I started to love feeling my feelings and crying over everything I wanted to cry about, is the moment people around me have even realized that I have become and am emotionally strong.

Which is the craziest thing, because you wouldn’t think that those that are “emotionally strong” are the ones that cry all the time. But, believe it or not, I got so tired of trying to be “strong”. But once I stopped avoiding my emotional reactions, I truly was able to handle any emotional reaction because feelings weren’t scary anymore. They were just, feelings that I had that I validated. They were not reality, they were just reactions.

So before I continue, try it. Regardless of what anyone’s preconceived ideas area bout emotions, just cry when you want to cry and just acknowledge when you are scared or sad. And if you’re sad, be sad. Tell yourself, “well, I am sad right now because this situation makes me sad.” Period. That’s it. Keep doing it.

I kid you not. When I would try to be emotionally strong and keep it together, I was told I was too sensitive. And the moment I embraced all my reactions and emotions, I have been told that I am emotionally strong. And I would recommend to everyone, to stop shoving their emotions down.

Emotions are just that.

They are emotions and only emotions. They are reactions.

Just because you have an initial emotional reaction, does not mean that whatever you fear is happening, is reality. Whatever you fear people are thinking about you, is not reality. It is just your fear, it is just your reaction. Your initial reaction.

Your emotions are not anything but your reactions, and your reactions come from your past experiences, insecurities, and fears. So when you are experiencing a situation that brings up negative feelings, your emotional reaction consists of all of these.

Whether it is true or not, the emotional reaction is still a reaction, and only a reaction. People can perceive the same situation in different ways because they experienced life in different ways. They have different fears and insecurities.

When you have an emotional reaction, it is important to experience it and feel it and address it. Tell yourself you are feeling this way for a reason. Verbalize what you are feeling and tell yourself why you may be feeling this way. Out loud. This will help you experience and acknowledge your emotions.

Then let yourself know that it is okay that you are feeling this way.

After you feel your emotions and address it, now you have more mental and emotional space to think about the issue. And acknowledge that you don’t know exactly what is happening in everyone’s head, and this may not be resolved quickly, but do what you can, do your part, and know that that is all you can do. Then keep living your daily life and doing what you need to do.

I have found letting yourself feel what you are experiencing, can help you understand yourself. Understand your past experiences, understand your boundaries, and understand your personality. Then it helps you make further decisions about your life.

Separating those emotions from your thoughts can help you make clear sound decisions rather than rash decisions, causing more issues. Acknowledging your emotions can help you understand that your emotions are just reactions that you are having to the situation.

Start feeling your emotions, and let go. Because you will become a lot stronger if you stop fearing your feelings.

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